TP-Link TL-WDR3600 - DD-WRT to Open-WRT

A little old? Maybe, but I expect there are still some in service.

I have been running this device since before I knew about Open-WRT. As the expression goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It's happily been running on a very old DD-WRT as an AP with USB and Guest LAN. Recently it's had some Wireless connection issues, and I'm not sure that upgrading to Open-WRT will fix that, but I thought I would try.

I first used the DD-WRT Reset to Factory option in the GUI. Not sure this was needed, but I did it anyhow. I needed to do a 30 second press of the reset button to find the router again.

I then used the wdr3600v1_webrevert.bin file from DD-WRT. While there are posts on this file not being available and it shows on the DD-WRT FTP page as 1KB, if you right-click and use the Save Link As (Windows) the file properly downloads. It can also be found by Googling on other sites. I ran this directly from the DD-WRT GUI. There is a post on DD-WRT suggests using putty or WinSCP, load it up to the tmp folder and upgrade by command line, but I did not need to do this.

It took close to 5 minutes to re-flash to the Stock TP-Link (never bothered to see what version) and reboots to 192.168.0.1 with admin\admin as credentials.

I then went into the TP-Link GUI, directly to the Upgrade Firmware page, and uploaded the latest Open-WRT 19.07.2 (openwrt-19.07.2-ar71xx-generic-tl-wdr3600-v1-squashfs-factory.bin). Unfortunately the file would not load with a message indicating to "select a file". I made a copy and renamed this to a more generic wdr3600.bin. This was accepted and loaded up fine.

I kept a CMD window open with ipconfig at the ready to monitor the IP changes after each flash.

Easy Peasy, about 20 minutes start to finish.

Performance: (with default settings)

  • 5G Read\Write Internet testing max's my connection speed of 50\20 and 2.4G hit 17\18 using Speedtest.net.
  • WLAN 5G Read\Write are 80\135 and WLAN 2.4G about 22\38.
  • Lan speeds Read\Write are 735\700 which is consistant with the rest on my network.
  • Wireless LAN card is an Intel N-7260
  • I use Totusoft Lan Speed Test (lite) to measure LAN speeds on Windows.

I have also restored the Dumb AP and Dumb AP Guest functionality that I used to have.

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That doesn't apply to operating systems or firmwares, especially of devices connected to Internet. New releases are not just about adding features. Vulnerabilities get discovered and new releases or service packs are developed to fix that.

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You are correct, but DD-WRT was too tough to follow with all the forks.

Until recently I was unable to find a viable way to convert to Open-WRT.

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